Animal cognition and culture mediate predator–prey interactions

Eamonn I. F. Wooster*, Kaitlyn M. Gaynor, Alexandra J. R. Carthey, Arian D. Wallach, Lauren A. Stanton, Daniel Ramp, Erick J. Lundgren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Predator–prey ecology and the study of animal cognition and culture have emerged as independent disciplines. Research combining these disciplines suggests that both animal cognition and culture can shape the outcomes of predator–prey interactions and their influence on ecosystems. We review the growing body of work that weaves animal cognition or culture into predator–prey ecology, and argue that both cognition and culture are significant but poorly understood mechanisms mediating how predators structure ecosystems. We present a framework exploring how previous experiences with the predation process creates feedback loops that alter the predation sequence. Cognitive and cultural predator–prey ecology offers ecologists new lenses through which to understand species interactions, their ecological consequences, and novel methods to conserve wildlife in a changing world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-64
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number1
Early online date14 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • antipredator behaviour
  • innovation
  • learning
  • predation
  • social learning
  • trophic cascades


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